Family: Slain Jacksonville teen loved church, football

Darryl Johnson Jr. shot in Northwest Jacksonville, dies at hospital, police say

By Jenese Harris - Reporter/anchor

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - He was a teenager who dreamed of a successful life.

That's how relatives of Darryl Johnson Jr. described the 14-year-old boy who police said was found shot Monday night in the Ribault area of Northwest Jacksonville.

"We were at the house, my wife and I, and his grandmother called me and said that (Johnson) had just got shot," said Dr. Jamell Sapp, his uncle.

Johnson was taken to a hospital. By the time Sapp got there, Johnson was dead.

Sapp told News4Jax on Wednesday that his nephew loved God.

"(He stayed) to himself. (He was a) people person, churchgoer," Sapp said. "He sang at the last sanctuary we were at in the youth choir, and he was an usher."

He said the teen with a baby face played football and dreamed of going to the NFL. 

Now Johnson's parents, like so many others in Jacksonville, are preparing their child's funeral. Johnson's uncle said he has lived in the city his entire life and has never seen violence as it has been recently.

Jacksonville police have been investigating several shootings in the last couple weeks, including last week's quadruple shooting on Town Center Parkway in which no arrests have been made. The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said it needs people to tell the truth. 

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"We have seen a lot of banter about that on social media and we have gotten some tips," JSO Public Information Officer Christian Hancock said Wednesday. "A lot of people are talking about it. But what we would really like is for people to talk to us about it."

Sapp said Johnson's family wants justice. He said whoever killed Johnson took away a teen who would have made a positive difference. 

"There was ... a lot in him," Sapp said. "As a pastor, I saw the potential, and just to see that taken away from him is devastating."

As of Wednesday, no arrests had been made in the Johnson's shooting death. The Sheriff's Office said just because an arrest isn't made immediately after a shooting doesn't mean that it's not coming. Police said they want to make sure the arrest is sold and will lead to the shooter being brought to justice. 

Anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriff's Office at 904-630-0500. To remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS (8477).

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